Craniocaudal motion velocity in the cervical spinal cord in degenerative disease as shown by MR imaging

Acta Radiol. 1997 Sep;38(5):803-9. doi: 10.1080/02841859709172414.


Purpose: To investigate, by means of MR phase imaging, the effects of compression on the velocity of craniocaudal motion in the spinal cord.

Material and methods: Spin-echo pulse sequences with velocity encoding gradients were used to examine 12 patients with cervical spondylosis and 6 normal volunteers. Oblique-axial phase images at 3 levels (cranial, middle and caudal), were obtained with prospective electrocardiogram gating. The middle level was set at the site where the spinal cord was most severely compressed, and the cranial and caudal sections were set where it was not compressed. Time-velocity curves were generated at these 3 levels and focal velocity change was correlated with motor function in the lower extremities.

Results and conclusion: The cord showed a higher motion velocity at the compression level than at noncompression levels. This paradoxical increase in velocity was observed in 7 out of 8 patients whose lower extremity motor function was impaired. Four patients with normal lower extremity motor function did not demonstrate this increase in velocity. An increase in motion velocity was therefore found to correlate with impaired lower extremity motor function.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • Calibration
  • Cervical Vertebrae / pathology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / instrumentation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Reference Values
  • Spinal Cord / pathology*
  • Spinal Cord / physiopathology*
  • Spinal Cord Compression / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord Compression / physiopathology
  • Spinal Osteophytosis / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Osteophytosis / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors